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Three weeks ago, I tried giving a quiz to my class using a website called Kahoot! We had been studying the beginning of the Cold War. I co-teach two of my World History class periods with another teacher and she said that the students had loved doing a Kahoot the previous quarter!

My colleague and I created a Kahoot! Here’s the quiz. I found myself terribly stressed giving this quiz using Kahoot! There were all these moving parts going on while the students typed in the quiz code into their cell phones or iPads. Many of us had to wait for others in order to start. I set each question at 20 seconds. Sometime 20 seconds was enough and sometimes it was just right. Many of the students really did enjoy taking a quiz in this setting because it is competitive and more of a game. I questioned the entire day why I had agreed to this because it made me stressed. Yes, it is a fun way to use technology but I wondered if they really learned and I could not really evaluate if they knew the answers to the questions.

I saw the Kahoot as a teaching failure. I had expected too much. I think in the future that it is a great way to review knowledge in a fun way. After I gave the Kahoot for a third time and the school day ended, I realized that I should have just relaxed and acknowledged that I had given it a try. I failed in the sense that I had expected it to be a quiz when in fact it is more of a fun, interactive way to review information.

 

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#Educolor and Tweeting my way into the Seattle Times

I participated for the second time in a Twitter chat that members of #BEDUC476 suggested on Twitter. The topic was “The Walls Between Us: Immigration, Deportations and Education” on Thurs. Feb 23rd. Here is a recap of the questions and answers. I had learned from my first chat that when I am replying to a question or tweeting my answer to begin the tweet with “A#_”. Unlike my first chat which was Social Studies teachers, this chat included teachers, administrators, M. Ed. students and others working towards increasing Equity and Awareness in K-12 institutions and Community Colleges and universities.

Here’s a few of my answers to some of the questions:

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My tweets from #EduColor chat Feb. 23, 2017

Since the beginning of the school year, I have struggled to understand how to talk about issues with immigration and refugees. As a teacher, it is inappropriate to give political opinions. A few of my students have conservative views. Will Pres. Trump build a wall? Will he deport all illegal immigrants? What will his new refugee ban law look like since his first refugee administrative order was stopped in the courts? Not only are we feeling anxious and confused about the future of our country but so are our students.

My big takeaway was to try and keep my mouth shut. To allow students to discuss issues if they want. Yes, I may have very strong opinions on immigration and refugee policies but expressing them to students is not the place to do so. It is important to try and allow conversation to take place because students really learn best from one another. I’m still trying to figure out how to allow these conversations to occur in my classrooms when I only have a limited amount of time with students each week and so much content to teach.

It was a great chat! I shared about working in a school district and a city where politicians and educators are trying to display their sentiment of continuing to welcome all students. Many educators nationwide share the same responses that I have observed in my classrooms, that many students have been silenced and if they are in fact feeling fear and anxiety, these feelings are being suppressed. Its truly alarming. I’m try to do my best to read and learn from others to understand my part in supporting students dealing with personal fears and anxieties regarding immigration, refugee status and the famous wall.

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This chat was even mentioned in a Seattle Times article! I know when #BEDUC476 ends, I will continue to participate in Twitter chats. Learning from other teachers, just like students learning from other students is hands down the best way to learn.

My First Twitter Chat

My first Twitter Chat was a success! I participated in a Twitter Chat with other educators called #sschat (Social Studies). The topic was “The First 100 Days” and took place on February 21st, President’s Day! Click here to see a recap of the entire conversation.

Although I do not teach Civics, I am a Social Studies teacher and connecting with other Soc. Studies teachers was excellent! I would read a response or answer from a teacher half way across the U.S.A.. After reading their Twitter profile, they usually had a link to their blog. Once I got to their blog, I would decide if their blog had useful information that I was interested in reading later. If the answer was yes, I would follow their blog and usually follow them on Twitter. I must have added or followed a dozen educators. I felt that the Twitter chat really helped with my networking skills that we have been working on in BEDUC 476. During the #sschat I did not just connect with other educators but also discovered wonderful Social Studies infographics, info. for other Twitter chats and educational websites that I had forgotten about (Newsela, PBS, etc.).

SSchat Tweets